Event Summary: CHOICE-D Launch Event

Public Launch of Guiding Hope: The CHOICE-D Patient and Family Guide to Depression Treatment

Front page of the CHOICE-D Guide.

On the evening of October 11, 2018, the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario (MDAO) hosted a launch event for The CHOICE-D Patient and Family Guide to Depression Treatment. This public event celebrated the award-winning CHOICE-D Guide—a unique, evidence-based resource co-written by people with depression, for people with depression. The guide was created by MDAO, in partnership with the Canadian Biomarker Integration Network in Depression (CAN-BIND), the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT), and the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI). The goal of this guide is to empower through knowledge. Knowledge about reliable treatment options can help individuals engage more meaningfully in informed conversations with their healthcare providers.

MDAO Volunteers welcomed members of the public, along with research, government, and industry partners 

In the historic Hart House Music Room at the University of Toronto, the event hosted close to one hundred members of the public, along with research, government, and industry partners. Ann-Marie MacDonald, Executive Director of MDAO, and Kirk Nylen, Director of Knowledge Translation at OBI, welcomed attendees and presented on the collaborative partnerships that were integral to the creation of the CHOICE-D Guide. Dr. Sagar Parikh, Andrew Kcomt, Janice Pong and Trehani Fonseka followed with an overview the project and introductions to the outstanding members of the lived experience writing team. The team of seven writers was selected from over sixty applicants across Canada.

Presentations were followed by a live music show by Adam Kagan, a singer and songwriter of acoustic soul-folk music, who was accompanied by award-winning pianist, Ari Posner. Guests then enjoyed refreshments during a MDAO Laughing Like Crazy stand-up comedy show. Laughing Like Crazy is a training and recovery program that aims to break down isolation, build self-esteem and challenge mental health stigma.

Opening act for the MDAO Laughing Like Crazy comedy show.
Musician Adam Kagan and Pianist Ari Posner performed a live music show.
Launch attendees enjoy an interactive MDAO Laughing Like Crazy comedy show.







Left to right: Dr. Sagar Parikh, Trehani Fonseka, Andrew Kcomt and Janice Pong (CHOICE-D project team)

The 2018 Paula Goering Collaborative Research and Knowledge Translation Award was recently presented to the CHOICE-D project team during this webinar. The project team is planning a series of train-the-trainer workshops to educate MDAO peer support leaders about how to coach others on effectively using the information and tools in the CHOICE-D Guide. The peer support leaders will be local CHOICE-D Ambassadors in communities across the province. French and Chinese versions of the guide will be available in the New Year.

A free online version of the CHOICE-D guide is available here. Your feedback is very important to us—please complete this quick survey. Thank you!

Photos by: Anum Shivji Arwani

Written by: Andrew Kcomt & Janice Pong

Edited by: Susan Rotzinger